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Grizzly Bears Share The Forest This Fall

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Stern warnings are being sent out regarding the chances of encountering a grizzly bear during outdoor activities this fall.  But while news releases sent out by the area’s national forests, national parks and both the Idaho and Montana wildlife departments telling of a low yield in the whitebark pine crop this year, Spokesman Gregg Losinski says plenty of other foods that bears like are in abundance.  He says in many areas, the berry crops have been “incredible” this year – and that means the bears will definitely be on the move looking for these alternate food sources.  He adds, “from a health standpoint, bears are doing very well.”  Losinski says bears are currently in a period called “hyperphasia” when they are trying to put on as much weight as they can prior to hibernation.  This could put them into contact with humans as they forage through the lower elevations where these food sources abound. Losinski admonishes people to remember to follow food storage guidelines, be alert for bears at all times, and carry bear spray.  Says Losinski, “Along with knowing how to use it is having it ready in a split-second.”  Losinski says the bear spray needs to be right in front where if something happens you’re going to be able to grab it; not carried in a backpack or on the back of your belt.  He explains, “If it happens, it will happen fast!” Losinski points out that basically there are no bounds to where grizzlies will and can go for food. That he says, is why their numbers are still increasing and the overall goal of recovery has been met numerically, if not yet legally, in the Yellowstone Ecosystem.

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